Russia has failed the most enormous special information and psychological operation (ISPO) in its history against Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (HUR), said Sunday, on the sidelines of the “Ukraine. Year 2024” forum in Kyiv.

The Kremlin planned to create a situation this year in which the legitimacy of decision-making in Ukraine after May 20 would be questioned via a disinformation campaign labeled “Maidan 3,” Budanov said.

“It was officially called that in their documents. This is the most expensive operation for them and it has already practically failed,” Budanov said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected to a 5-year term on May 20, 2019. As there are currently no plans to hold an election during martial wartime, presumably part of the plan has been to take advantage of any unrest that could be brewed up by that point and use it then to maximum advantage.


The Kremlin expected a higher level of societal unrest that it would be able to transfer to the Ukrainian military.

“Having sown ambivalence in our army, they planned to inflict a military defeat in the east in the first half of June, taking advantage of the already undermined situation in the army,” Budanov said.

Zelensky, in comments to a Kyiv Post journalist, also addressed “Maidan 3.”

“This is the narrative and program of the Russian Federation. All the G7 intelligence agencies have the relevant documents, and it is clear to everyone that this is a Russian program,” Zelensky said.

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The pilot forwarded documents to Ukraine related to the activities of his military unit as well as private photos of the command staff of the 22nd Heavy Bombing Aviation Division, HUR said.

Along with Ukrainians, citizens of countries in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and the United States are regular targets of Russian disinformation campaigns, with some of them being quite successful, and Moscow has been investing huge amounts of money in the campaigns, Zelensky said.

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